OCONEE COUNTY, Ga. - An Oconee County rancher has an incredible wildlife tale to tell about, a face to face encounter with a rabid fox.
"Here and back here, I mean it had me like this," Mike Streetman said from his Emergency Room at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens Friday night.
Mike Streetman, 70, spent Friday evening in the emergency room at St Mary's Hospital in Athens to get treatment for rabies.
He said he was on an ATV in his barn Wednesday afternoon, cooling off from work in the field at his ranch in Oconee County when he spotted a strange acting fox.
He said he backed up to get away and became trapped underneath the ATV. He quickly called his wife on his cell with the fox coming at him.
"I grabbed the hammer that fell off the four-wheeler and swatted him, swatted him, swatted him, and every time he'd go four or five feet, he'd get right back on his feet and come right back to me again," said Streetman.
He said when he missed the fox with a fourth blow the animal latched on to his arm. In trying to get away he inadvertently pulled the fox close to his face.
"And I grabbed him to choke him, I had him in a chokehold with this hand and dropped the hammer and I grabbed him with both hands and I'm screaming for my wife," said Streetman.
He said he had the fox in the choke hold when his wife, a friend and deputy arrived. The deputy and friend he said put a rope around the fox's neck, subdued it then took the rabid fox and shot it dead.
"They shot it they didn't euthanize it," said Streetman.
He said Animal Control confirmed the fox was rabid Friday afternoon, leaving him enough time for rabies treatment and globulin shots to slow the spread of the rabies virus after the dangerous encounter.
"I was reacting I wasn't thinking. He was trying to get me and trying to bite me and I was trying to as best I could make sure that he didn't," said Streetman.
He was released from the hospital Friday night around 9 p.m.
He said doctors told him he will be OK after he goes through the series of rabies shots.
Streetman also said doctors cleared him of any injuries after the ATV fell on top of him.